Hot on the heels of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD, Barnes and Noble has launched two new tablets that promise tough competition in the tablet arena. B&N has officially launched the new 7-inch Nook HD and the 9-inch Nook HD+ which will certainly blow your socks off with its specs. It must be noted that the “budget tablet” sphere as it is known, currently has the likes of the Google-ASUS Nexus 7 as well as the recently announced trio of Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 LTE. Although the two variants of the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD tablets are still awaiting release, we have a rough idea about how Amazon is going about things. And Barnes and Noble might have just upped the ante with the two new tablets. The highlight of the two tablets is the display and rightly so as more emphasis is given to reading magazines and books on the go.
Starting with the 7-inch Nook HD, the tablet features a 7-inch HD display with a resolution of 1440×900 which apparently is the “highest resolution on a 7-inch tablet”, with a pixel density of 243ppi which is excellent for a 7-inch tablet. Watching videos via the newly launched Nook Video should be a treat with the crisp display. As reading is the sole purpose of the tablet according to B&N, there’s no camera on the back which might be a deal breaker for a few users. But a camera for a moderately sized tablet like this would make no sense, so it shouldn’t be that big a deal really. The tablet weighs a decent 319 grams which is lighter than the competition (Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD), so it fits in the hand comfortably. Running the whole thing is a TI OMAP 4470 dual core processor clocked at 1.3 GHz with 1GB of RAM. The Nook HD will be available in 8 and 16GB variants respectively, with a microSD card slot for memory expansion. The two variants are priced at $199 and $229 which will be a decisive factor for potential buyers. The tablet features a custom UI known as “Paper” atop Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which should be an interesting addition as well. The folks at Engadget managed to get their hands on the device and mentioned that the usability was a bit off track which apparently will be fixed in time for launch. The tablets will be available in “Smoke” and “Snow” color combinations respectively.
The Nook HD+ is the top dog among the two. And like with Amazon’s offering(s), the Nook HD+ also packs a 9-inch display with a resounding resolution of 1920×1280 which is slightly beyond Full HD (1920×1080). As with the Nook HD, there’s no rear or front facing camera, which is a letdown as this is well and truly in line to be the next big thing in terms of budget tablets. But watching videos and reading texts will be an absolute delight on the Nook HD+ holding true to its display credentials. The processor on board is the same TI OMAP 4470 but with a higher CPU clock speed at 1.5 GHz. The UI and the OS is the same here, so nothing different in that respect. The Nook HD+ seems to be one of the better crafted tablets we see around us with much emphasis being given to the body and the construction. As you can see from the pictures, the Nook HD+ has a wide bezel and a rather cool looking design element at the bottom left. The two tablets will be available in 16 and 32GB variants for $269 and $299 respectively. As with the Nook HD, the HD+ sports a microSD card slot and what seems like a B&N proprietary charging port instead of a standard micro USB charging port which is rather strange. The Nook HD+ weighs 515 grams which makes it lighter than the current iPad. Both the Nook HD and the Nook HD+ feature the cool looking “n” shaped home button, which is a nice touch.
All variants of the Nook HD and the Nook HD+ are up for pre order with shipping expected to commence in the latter part of October. Barnes and Noble stores will get it in November. So grab your pick and place the pre order today through the Barnes and Noble website with the links provided below.